This study investigated down-flow hanging sponge (DHS) technology as a promising trickling filter (TF) using sponge media as a biomass carrier with an emphasis on protection of the biomass against macrofauna overgrazing. A pilot-scale DHS reactor fed with low-strength municipal sewage was operated under ambient temperature conditions for 1 year at a sewage treatment plant in Bangkok, Thailand. The results showed that snails (macrofauna) were present on the surface of the sponge media, but could not enter into it, because the sponge media with smaller pores physically protected the biomass from the snails. As a result, the sponge media maintained a dense biomass, with an average value of 22.3 gVSS/L sponge (58.1 gTSS/L sponge) on day 370. The snails could graze biomass on the surface of the sponge media. The DHS reactor process performance was also successful. The DHS reactor requires neither chemical treatments nor specific operations such as flooding for snail control. Overall, the results of this study indicate that the DHS reactor is able to protect biomass from snail overgrazing.

You do not currently have access to this content.